Despite Covid-19 threat, Boeing completes delivery of Apache and Chinook

IDD Bureau

US giant Boeing has completed delivery of all new AH-64E Apache and CH-47F(I) Chinook military helicopters to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The final five of the 22 Apache attack helicopters were handed over to the IAF at Air Force Station, Hindan, located just east of the national capital in New Delhi in June. Earlier in March, Boeing handed over the last five out of the 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to the IAF, a statement of the company said.

The IAF has deployed some of these copters in the ongoing tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

Chinook in Ladakh. Source social media

India is one of 17 nations to select the Apache and has the most advanced variant, the AH-64E Apache that is also flown by the U.S. and many other countries. The AH-64E Apache is designed and equipped with an open systems architecture including the latest communications, navigation, sensor and weapon systems. It has an improved Modernized Target Acquisition Designation System that provides day, night and all-weather target information, as well as night vision navigation capability. In addition to classifying air and ground targets, the Fire Control Radar has been updated to operate in the maritime environment. It is uniquely suited to meet a commander’s needs, including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack, across myriad environments – without reconfiguration.

Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India, was quoted in a company statement saying “Customer centricity, commitment to the modernization and mission-readiness of India’s defence forces are key values to our partnership with India”.

“With this delivery of military helicopters, we continue to nurture this partnership and are fully committed to working closely with India’s defence forces to deliver the right value and capabilities to meet their operational needs,”

Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India

Twenty defence forces around the world either have Chinooks in service, or are on contract to receive them. The iconic tandem-rotor helicopter has been the world’s most reliable and efficient heavy-lift helicopter for more than 50 years, allowing customers to operate in hot climatic conditions at high altitudes, and crosswind conditions that keep other helicopters from flying. The CH-47F(I) Chinook contains a modern machined airframe, a common avionics architecture system (CAAS) cockpit, and a digital automatic flight control system (DAFCS). Those innovations and technologies will help the Indian Air Force meet evolving mission demands, maximize interoperability, and reduce lifecycle costs.

The Indian Ministry of Defence finalized its order with Boeing for the production, training and support of 22 AH-64E Apache and 15 CH-47F(I) Chinook helicopters in September 2015. Earlier this year, India and the U.S. signed a contract for the acquisition of six Apaches for the Indian Army during U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to New Delhi.

The Make in India by Boeing

Boeing’s joint venture in Hyderabad, Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) has been producing aero-structures for the AH-64 Apache helicopter for both US Army and international customers. TBAL marks a major step towards the co-development of integrated systems in aerospace and defense in India. Boeing’s suppliers in India are manufacturing critical systems and components for the Chinooks, including the crown and tailcone assembly by Tata Advanced Systems and the ramp and aft pylon by Dynamatic Technologies. Boeing today works with over 200 suppliers and partners in the country in support of “Make in India” and “Skill India.”

Boeing Defence India provides holistic lifecycle solutions for government and defence customers in the country. Boeing delivers services that ensure high availability and mission-readiness of platforms to its defence customers at competitive costs through its investments in services infrastructure and building local capabilities and partnerships. With the induction of the Apaches and Chinooks, Boeing anticipates additional opportunities in rotorcraft training and sustainment.

Annually $ 1 Billion sourcing from India

Boeing is focused on delivering value to Indian customers with advanced technologies and is committed to creating sustainable value in the Indian aerospace sector – developing local suppliers, and shaping academic and research collaborations with Indian institutions. Boeing has strengthened its supply chain with 200 partners in India, and a JV to manufacture fuselages for Apache helicopters. Annual sourcing from India stands at $1 billion. Boeing currently employs 3,500 people in India, and more than 7,000 people work with its supply chain partners. Boeing’s employee efforts and India country-wide engagement serves communities and citizenship programs to inspire change and make an impact on more than 150,000 lives.

The growing India US ties

In the past five years, India had got 145 pieces of the specialised M777 ultra light howtizers (ULH) from BAE systems using the foreign military sales route.

India has signed a contract to get 24 naval multi-role helicopters from US company Lockheed Martin. It is also looking at the US for designing an aircraft carrier and getting the EMALS systems akin to the one installed in the USS Gerald R Ford.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi meeting the President of US Donald Trump, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on February 25, 2020.

Specialised ‘predator’ UAVs made by US company General Atomics and the National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), by Raytheon, are on India’s wishlist. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Indian Defence Minister as accepted the necessity for such a weapon. It can destroy unmanned aerial vehicle and emerging cruise missile threats. India is one of the biggest operators of C-17. It has ordered  more Boeing P8I and the six additional Apache.

Share on Whatsapp

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular News